Social media is a cornerstone of an effective marketing strategy, but it takes a fair bit of time and effort to get it right. For many business owners, outsourcing can be a smart solution to maintain a consistent social media presence without sacrificing valuable time better reserved for client work.
However, outsourcing without proper preparation can have dangerous results. It might be tempting to push off social media tasks to a low-cost freelancer on Fiverr or Upwork, or perhaps your niece in college has shown an aptitude for marketing (and TikTok videos) and is seeking experience.
There’s no problem with choosing a budget-friendly option to outsource social media, but it’s not as simple as emailing your logins and letting a virtual stranger run the show. In this case, you’ll more than likely find that you receive little to no engagement (let alone conversions). In the worst-case scenario, your contractor may post something off-brand—or even offensive—that forces you to backtrack and make up for it.
Ineffective outsourcing isn’t necessarily a result of the contractor themselves, but rather the way you assign responsibility. This is not a case of abdication, in which you simply hand over the reins freely; instead, you need to be intentional in your delegation. Set your contractor (and your brand) up for success, not for failure.
Ultimately, you are the true protector of your brand and its messaging, even if you’re letting someone else run the technical side of it. Nobody—and I mean nobody—will care and love your brand the way you do, even the most loyal of employees. Thus, it’s your responsibility to ensure your social media presence is placed in the hands of someone who is knowledgeable, reliable, and responsible.
Seek a professional with more than just a strong grasp on the social media platforms you use; look for someone with a portfolio that shows they have reliably learned clients’ business models and has created content that targets a specific audience. You need to be confident about your outsourcing decision, so be mindful of a candidate’s experience before handing over the keys to the kingdom.
Remember: Social media is nothing more than a vehicle for your messaging. Without you leading the charge, your content may lose sight of your true intentions and will fail to hit the mark with your target audience.
That raises the question — how can you delegate your social media responsibly to ensure the integrity of your online presence?
It all depends on the strength of your brand platform.
In order to build a solid brand platform, consider these three facets:
1. Your Ideal Client Avatar
If you haven’t yet considered your ICA, it’s time to go back to square one and lay the groundwork for an effective marketing strategy. Your ICA, or market persona, is your dream client. It’s who you want to attract and work with, as well as the people who are specifically seeking out your work. It’s a perfect match. In all aspects of marketing, your ICA acts as your guiding light, providing you a foundation to tailor your messaging to meet them where they are.
2. Your Brand Adjectives
In addition to your target audience, you also need to define how you want your brand to be associated in the outside world. How do you want people to think of your brand? What words would they use to describe it? If you select words like “elegant” and “chic,” your brand voice will look quite different than one defined by “sassy” and “informal.” Your brand adjectives should align closely to your ICA’s characteristics.
3. Your Core Content Pillars
Once you’ve settled on your target audience and your brand adjectives, you can start to create a strategy around the topics that will attract your ICA. Brainstorm five or six categories that you feel confident creating content and presenting yourself as an expert in topics that appeal to your ICA. For example, if you’re a caterer and your ideal client is a foodie that is always globe hopping to new destinations, you may consider creating content about your favorite cocktails from around the world, popular global delicacies, or real weddings that were inspired by international cultures.
With these three aspects lined up, you can start to hone in on the natural brand voice that encompasses who you are, what your company represents, and the clients that you serve.
From there, it’s time to create a brand-brief document to train your social media team, whether it’s in-house or contracted out. Be specific about your brand persona, including direction for imagery and writing style. Consider whether emojis, exclamation points, and contractions are a fit for the voice you intend to convey. Write a few sample posts in your brand voice to pass off as examples for your team. Make it as easy as possible for them to pick up the brand brief and start creating content based on your instructions.
Your brand brief also makes the hand-off easier if you need to transition to a different freelancer or employee, as the document will ensure consistency and efficiency.
When you outsource social media smartly and effectively, you can open up more time in your schedule while ensuring that your brand reputation remains consistent and reliable.